Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of owning my own business and the freedom this would afford me…freedom to travel to far flung countries, to choose my own hours and place of work and above all the freedom to create the most beautiful product I could imagine, without limitations and restrictions imposed on me. I often spoke of my dreams and friends and colleagues would roll their eyes and say “yes Carrie wouldn’t that be wonderful in an ideal world”…but I had the belief to follow my dreams. A belief instilled in me from such a young age when the most important woman in my life, my Mum, told me I could do anything and be anything I wanted!
Working in a retail Head Office for over 10 years, I had witnessed so much lost talent due to inflexible working hours, unsupportive managers and unfeasible demands placed on working mothers. This really bothered me and definitely played a part in my desire to set up my own enterprise, so that I didn’t have to suffer the same challenges in the future.
I am extremely proud that my (current) team of 5 is made up of strong, talented women, all with a wealth of amazing retail experience. I have built a successful team around me of women who have a passion for product, skilled business minds and above all who understand the needs and desires of our customer! Founded on friendship & family (my sister is my website developer!), the loyalty and support of my team and their dedication to the brand means that I can completely trust them to help me to nurture and develop my brand (in essence my baby!). It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child and these girls are that “village” for me!
It might surprise you, but we don’t have a Carrie Elizabeth Office. This is because we all work remotely from our own homes! Not only does this benefit the environment….no travel to work, no office to power and no plastic coffee cups…. but it also benefits us as a team. Working from home gives each of us the flexibility to work the hours that suit us, to fit in work with our busy lives and also to remove that awful part of work that everybody dreads…the daily commute!!
We’ve found that by making sure we’re all communicating with each other via our Whatsapp group, a weekly conference call, Instagram messages… (sometimes all 3 at once!) we all know what’s happening and what the priorities are for us as a team and also individually so that we can be there to support when needed.
Face to face time is still important to us and there are some things that just don’t translate as well through Facetime….like when we get in amazing new samples for instance! So, we always make sure to have one team catch up every month where we can look at exciting new product, talk about future plans and strategy and generally have a lovely time together!
“Flexible working” is such a buzzword at the moment and it’s something that’s really important to us at Carrie Elizabeth. Everyone on my team has their own schedule and I completely respect and support this. Some are mothers and so need to do the school run, some like to exercise in the morning (or at least plan to!), and some are night owls (like me!). The main thing is we all get our work done to a high standard and on time. I completely trust my team to manage their own time and make their roles work for them. In return I get an awesome team who always go above and beyond for me!
Being a small team, we sometimes need to outsource certain work that doesn’t fall into our expertise. Wherever possible I try to support other female entrepreneurs and have worked hard to build supportive and long-lasting working relationships with other female led businesses. A lot of our success is built upon our strong social media presence and it is through these platforms that I have also been able to meet some amazing women and to build mutually supportive relationships. I have been lucky enough to receive some amazing advice and guidance from some incredible women and so it is extremely important to me to be able to pass this onto other women starting out in business or looking to take the next leap!
I cannot talk about how important women are to this brand without of course talking about our beautiful product and our amazing customers. I believe that beautiful jewellery has the power to make you feel stronger and more confident. It is an expression of who you are to world and everybody deserves the chance to shine and dazzle once in a while! I was so fed up of seeing absolutely stunning jewels that were just so unaffordable for me or any of my friends….not to mention turning my fingers green with cheap high street jewellery!
Not only just a thing of beauty, jewellery means so much more to me. Each piece I design holds a special meaning, be it using a gemstone that has a natural healing power or a symbol of strength and direction. I find the power of jewellery so inspiring and wanted to share this with other women.
So, with that in mind I took a leap of faith and decided to build a brand that would make stunning pieces of jewellery accessible to women just like you and me! Affordable luxury crafted with the vision to empower women to feel beautiful and special all over the world!